If believers are promised tribulation, affliction and persecution, why are so many of us unprepared when these hit? Bible teacher John Bevere explains how you can arm yourself in advance to win every battle.
Imagine a nation sending its military into war without bullets, guns, cannons, bombs, tanks, planes or even knives. How would that nation fare in warfare? Would they conquer? Would they contend? Would they even survive?
As ridiculous as it sounds, it’s not much different from a believer who is not “armed” to suffer. Sadly, most of us are unarmed for spiritual conflict. When the unexpected strikes, we’re caught off guard and enter a state of shock, bewilderment or amazement. The result is that we tend to react instead of act.
In his first letter, the apostle Peter, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, admonishes us to “arm” ourselves to suffer in the same manner as Christ did (1 Pet. 4:1). How did Jesus suffer? Was He plagued with sin? Never, but He did have to resist it. Was He plagued with sickness or disease? No, but He probably had to fight it off. Did He lack enough money to pay bills or to accomplish His mission? No, yet I’m sure He had to trust God for provision.
Jesus was tested in all points, yet He never succumbed to one assault hurled by the enemy. We are charged to walk as He walked; therefore, we also are not to yield to any wile of the devil.
As we read more deeply in Peter’s letter, we realize that the specific suffering Jesus endured was unfair treatment from people, particularly from the corrupt political and religious leaders of His day. I personally believe this is the highest level of suffering one must endure to enter rulership.
Indeed, unfair treatment was the apostle Paul’s greatest struggle. He was slandered, lied about, mocked, mistreated, insulted and falsely accused. He warns us of the same: “Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution” (2 Tim. 3:12).
If you live as the world lives, then you’ll not be bothered with persecution; you are virtually a prisoner of war. It is the soldiers under fire who are free and fighting to take enemy territory.
Yet the reality is, we live in a world that is completely contrary and even hostile to the kingdom of God. So, dear friend, if you are truly living for the Lord, you will suffer resistance in your life in Christ. You must be prepared. You must, as Peter put it, arm yourself.
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SOURCE: Charisma News